Berlin Diary. Three minutes is a lifetime when you are not allowed to move a muscle. Reclaiming a century-old portrait camera.
A wonderful gallery in Spain offered me the show I’ve always wanted to do—giant black and white self-portraits made in Berlin eleven years ago with an ancient, large-format portrait camera (with no shutter), paper negatives and three-minute exposures.
Plus a minor show of a beautiful series of light, fragile photographs of delicate flowers, to stand in contrast on an opposing wall. The total cost to produce the show will be about $1,500 and I am determined to give quality rewards back for every pledge. Any amount received over and above my goal will go towards the catalogs, more prints and future exhibitions.
Berlin Diary. Three minutes is a lifetime when you are not allowed to move a muscle.
These are a series of self-portraits made during the winter of 1999-2000 in the East Berlin apartment I had just moved into. It was a time of long, dark, cold winter days; of isolation and loneliness; of uncertainty in my life.
One day in a Berlin junk shop I discovered a large-format portrait camera from about 1900 and bought it for almost nothing. The camera's lens was excellent, but it had no shutter. Back in the days of slow film and long exposure times, the lens cap was the shutter. Photographers would pose the subject in a stiff chair, take off the lens cap…and then put it back on. That was the exposure. The subject wasn’t allowed to move—otherwise the image would be blurred.
I wasn’t able to find the right-sized film for the camera. So I began experimenting with photo paper instead, and found that a very thin French photo paper (also quite old) worked out ok, but in a strange way. Instead of showing grain, the images showed the fiber of the paper. And, as photo paper is not nearly as sensitive as film, and all exposures had to be about three minutes long. And, as I had no subject, I decided to use myself, to document my life and mood in Berlin.
In tests I have seen that the enlarged images are quite beautiful. They have a ghostly feel (due most certainly to the long exposures) and a wonderful texture. For the best effect, the images need to be bigger than life-sized: about five feet tall for the upper torso. I’ve found a printer and the right high-quality paper to do the show prints. We have done one full-sized print together. And it looks fantastic. Link to the full story and Berlin Diary website.
flowers, just because - part two of the show
The gallery owner suggested filling an entire opposing wall with a different series of photos: light, delicate, close-up color images of flowers, that could work in contrast with the dark, serious black and white images.
These photographs were made just a few months ago, in color and on a digital camera. I loved the idea of the two series in the same show. These images will be mounted in Diasec (flowers website here)
The gifts for you range from a minimum of your name on a list of sponsors at the exhibition (starting with a $1 pledge) to the maximum, a physical copy of the entire show, plus a dinner with the artist and his family at a great restaurant.
The pledge amount and corresponding gifts can be seen here, above on the right.
Below are photographs of the catalogs that you will receive for pledges of $25 and $50, and below that, examples of the photographs available as prints for $200, $400 and $1000 pledges. Please check out all the rewards listed to the right (and up!). Every amount, from a dollar on up, appreciated.
The mini catalogs (above)
examples of the photographs available as gift prints from my web
How Kickstarter works:
Your credit card is only charged only if I reach my fundraising goal of $1,500 by the deadline. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged.
So, please help me reach the goal!
My websites can be found at:
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $1,500 goal
seconds to go
Jul 9, 2011 - Sep 7, 2011 (60 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Every name of every sponsor, from $1.00 to one million dollars, will be printed and displayed on a board that will stand or hang at the opening of the show and be present during the entire show.
Pledge $10 or more
For this, I’ll send you a postcard from Spain or Berlin with personal thanks.
Pledge $25 or more
You will get a miniature catalog of the exhibition of your choice (‘Berlin Diary,’ or ‘flowers, just because’). Each catalog is an actual miniature photo book 3.75 by 2.5 inch (9.5 x 6.35 cm) with 20 pages of photographs from the exhibition. Wonderfully printed. (see images of actual catalogs down below and to the left)
Pledge $50 or more
You get BOTH catalogs described above.
Pledge $75 or more
You get both catalogs described above, plus a 4 x 6 inch signed photograph of your choice from either exhibition.
Pledge $200 or more
You get a signed exhibition-quality black and white photograph of your choice 9 x 11 inch from the photographs from my web page: http://www.mychoice.webatu.com . Plus both catalogs. The prints are made on archival Illford Galerie Smooth Pearl Paper.
Pledge $400 or more
Similar to the $200 gift, but the print is much larger, 13 x 19 inch, and made on archival Illford Galerie Gold Fiber Silk.
Pledge $1,000 or more
You get your choice of four large, exhibition-quality archival prints (13 x 19 inch) plus two smaller prints (9 x 11 inch) from my web site www.mychoice.webatu.com, plus both catalogs.
Pledge $1,400 or more
You get one full-sized, unframed, limited-edition print from the exhibition Berlin Diary.
Pledge $1,500 or more
You get an entire set of nine Diasec-mounted flower prints, which you can hang as a unit or separately.
Pledge $10,000 or more
You’ve purchased the whole show plus a wonderful dinner with the artist and his family at Casa Rufo. Mmm!